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2560x1600 Maxed Gaming GPU Config: SLI or Single GPU?

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#1
My goal is to run BF3 (and other future demanding titles) at my left spec'd system's native res at max settings (super duper eye candy disabled like post-AA and HBAO in BF3) with my system at stock settings.

I have been running a single GTX 570 Direct CU II for a little while, and I am pretty solid at all settings on HIGH, no motion blur, no ambient occlusion, and no post-AA. But I want ultra.

I grabbed a second matching GPU, but because they are triple slot, the top one is starving for air. With a half hour BF3 session, my bottom GPU maxed at 45C, and my top GPU at 85C. I have a feeling the SLI settings aren't working fully because I am getting more frames than before, but from benchmarks I've seen, I would have expected to be able to set everything from HIGH to ULTRA and go.

So, looks like I need to find a new GPU solution. These are a few things I'm considering now:

  • Single: GTX 580 3GB (pricey and hard to find)
  • SLI: EVGA GTX 560 Ti 448 Core Classified
  • SLI: Other more different dual-slot GTX 570's
  • SLI: GTX 580 3GB (probably too expensive)

Please let me know what you guys think I should do.
 
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Chicken Patty

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#2
In all honesty a single GTX 580 3GB should run that game however you want to run it. That's a heck of a beastly card my friend.
 
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#3
Have to agree with 3GB GTX 580 being the most likely canidate

Edit: Why stock settings though? You have an easily OC'able processor and GPU's are a snap to OC as well?
 
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#4
My goal is to run BF3 (and other future demanding titles) at my left spec'd system's native res at max settings (super duper eye candy disabled like post-AA and HBAO in BF3) with my system at stock settings.

I have been running a single GTX 570 Direct CU II for a little while, and I am pretty solid at all settings on HIGH, no motion blur, no ambient occlusion, and no post-AA. But I want ultra.

I grabbed a second matching GPU, but because they are triple slot, the top one is starving for air. With a half hour BF3 session, my bottom GPU maxed at 45C, and my top GPU at 85C. I have a feeling the SLI settings aren't working fully because I am getting more frames than before, but from benchmarks I've seen, I would have expected to be able to set everything from HIGH to ULTRA and go.

So, looks like I need to find a new GPU solution. These are a few things I'm considering now:

  • SLI: EVGA GTX 560 Ti 448 Core Classified
  • Single: GTX 580 3GB
  • SLI: Other more different dual-slot GTX 570's

Please let me know what you guys think I should do.
Because of your resolution imo keep an SLI config. An example here http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graphics-performance,3063-7.html

BF3 on Ultra only showing 33FPS on their performance chart, while even the GTX 590 is only to output 49fps. Again here

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graphics-performance,3063-6.html

You see how much SLI really helps out to bringing maximum performance in this game, imo its enough to justify that a second card is worth getting. Also it will justify and complement all your high-end parts.
 
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#5
i say get a couple of GTX580 3GBs...weeee!
 
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#6
Wanna pay for 'em? :p

Keep the recommendations coming, guys! I really appreciate it! If you guys have any other options (including AMD cards) let me know!
 
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#7
for that many pixels... SLI, BUT... SLi limits your memory and I dont think the 448 or the 570 have enough vram for that rez.... you may be happier with a 580 3gb... or go CFX, but then you have AMD's famoulsy awesome drivers to deal with.

580 3GB for best consistency and smoothness

CFX 6950's or 6970's for massive FPS in most games.
 
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#8
Wanna pay for 'em? :p

Keep the recommendations coming, guys! I really appreciate it! If you guys have any other options (including AMD cards) let me know!
issue is, you need more than 1.25GB of GTX560/570 at that resolution - not for all games, but there are few that need it.
if you can get the 2.5GB model, then get 2x GTX570. (sell the GTX570 you have)

GTX580 might not be enough for all the games at 1600p. remember, pixel count wise, 1600p is double the load of 1600p. so, a single GTX580 will give about half the speed of 1080p at 1600p. you need two of GTX580's ideally, to keep up with the same FPS of a single GTX580 at 1080p.
 
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#9
also keep in mind that you will actually downgrade if you get the 580 3GB, and gain 0 performance if you go with the 448 SLI.

dual 580's would work, or dual 6970's but you will have to OC to get the most out of them and I dont think the difference will be that huge TBH. Honestly just wait if you can... stick a fan on to the cards to get the airflow moving until the new 7xxx series is out.

To add to that, 85C is actually not that big of a deal, and is within spec for the tolerance of the chip. Unless you are crashing/artifacting I would stick with what you have.
 
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#10
Amd cards have 2gb memory for no extra costs that's something to think about also for your res.
 
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#11
40 minute BF3 session on Ultra settings with some of the higher-end eye candy turned down.

GPU1:


GPU2:


I don't think SLI is working properly...

Edit: Here are my settings in NCP:
 
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#12
woah top card went to 98C???

something is wrong with SLI apparently. 40C is staying idle. weird. how about reinstalling drivers?
 
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#13
I rolled back drivers from the most recent beta back to the WHQLs. I'll try doing a full uninstall. I just hope I don't lose display support while they're driverless and have to pull a card again.

Check previous post for update.
 
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#14
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#15
There's something wrong here, not just going to rip them out.
 
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#16
reason i got a 580 for more vram and ocing lol

but bf3 uses alot of ram and have you tryed a fan on the side of the cards to help get the top card get some fresh air in there
 
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#17
I don't have a spare fan on me at the moment. I know I'm not going to keep both these cards, but I want to at least see what kind of performance I can get with dual 570s.

Edit:

Fixed the SLI problem. Needed to select single display performance mode instead of multi. Got both cards topping out at about 92-93% GPU load.

I am indeed maxing out the video memory of these cards, but now I can actually test. Temps were a little different as well with the top GPU at 97C and the bottom at 59C. Top card is still being horrifically starved.
 
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#18
I don't have a spare fan on me at the moment. I know I'm not going to keep both these cards, but I want to at least see what kind of performance I can get with dual 570s.

Edit:

Fixed the SLI problem. Needed to select single display performance mode instead of multi. Got both cards topping out at about 92-93% GPU load.

I am indeed maxing out the video memory of these cards, but now I can actually test. Temps were a little different as well with the top GPU at 97C and the bottom at 59C. Top card is still being horrifically starved.
At least it's using both cards now. Try to get a hold off a fan and have it blowing on the cards, should fix most of your temp issue.
 
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#19
97C? That's hot. And you only have 2 cards right?
 
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#20
I've never liked that Direct Cu II cooler, it's a mammoth design that takes 3 slots and doesn't offer the performance that should then hinders your possibilities with multi-gpu setups.
It's only good if you run a single card, anyway you should take a look at MSI offerings the twin frozr cooler is awesome.

Having said so I am playing at 2560x1600 too and even with a single HD6990 I can practically play everything on the market (to be honest quad-fire is a rare thing to see working), I think you should consider AMD offerings if you want a multi gpu setup unless you are scared of driver support.

If you wish to stay with Nvidia the 580 Lightning 3GB is the way to go it has the VRAM to shine at 1600p even though it lacks a bit of horsepower to drive so many pixels that can be achieved only with a multi GPU setup.

Either way you should consider going 2+ GPUs for 1600p or take a single 580 and deal with very occasional but nonetheless existant stutters.
 
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#21
Only 2 cards. I've got a little plastic piece shoved between for a little better airflow, but it's not making all that much of a difference. I am pretty happy with the performance, though. I think I'd enjoy having two cards, but I need to play around a little more with the settings to make sure it's bug-free.

Double RAM high-end cards are really expensive and hard to come by, so I think I'm just going to give up the Ultra textures for now. From my testing, Ultra textures will take almost 2GB of VRAM, and High anywhere from 800-1200MB.
 
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#22
Only 2 cards. I've got a little plastic piece shoved between for a little better airflow, but it's not making all that much of a difference. I am pretty happy with the performance, though. I think I'd enjoy having two cards, but I need to play around a little more with the settings to make sure it's bug-free.

Double RAM high-end cards are really expensive and hard to come by, so I think I'm just going to give up the Ultra textures for now. From my testing, Ultra textures will take almost 2GB of VRAM, and High anywhere from 800-1200MB.
Since the heatsink etc. are quite exposed on these coolers, I think getting a spare fan would be worthwhile. Just plug it in, run unigine and find something to strap it on or hold it manually against your top card to see if it affects the temps, I can see it being a viable solution as long as you're able to strap it on with something.
 
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#23
I'm also concerned with fan noise and aesthetics, though. I'd feel better swapping these out for another dual-slot variant, or 560 Ti 448's.

Also, I'm planning on upgrading when the new GPUs come out, and I won't be sour that I've recently purchased anything new. I'd rather have the chance to play with more hardware and lose a bit on resale.
 
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#24
If you are satisfied with the performance you could always swap one of the cards and pick a dual slot to put on top and have that slot of breathing for the upper card.
The only issue I can think of on the future is the amount of Vram as you already said
 
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System Name Has and is well
Processor i7 4770K
Motherboard ASUS B85
Cooling Corsair H100
Memory TEAM 1866mhz 8GBx2 16GB
Video Card(s) MSI 980ti Gold Edition
Storage Intel 520 120GB + Seagate 2TB 7200RPM
Display(s) DELL U2713HM 2560x1440 Monitor
Case Corsair 350D
Power Supply EVGA 850W Gold
Software Win 10
#25
I'm also concerned with fan noise and aesthetics, though. I'd feel better swapping these out for another dual-slot variant, or 560 Ti 448's.

Also, I'm planning on upgrading when the new GPUs come out, and I won't be sour that I've recently purchased anything new. I'd rather have the chance to play with more hardware and lose a bit on resale.
Amen to that! :rockout:

The 560Ti 448's definitely look very appealing, since you put it that way I'd definitely suggest swapping out asap as it would be what I do in your situation :).